Experience

A family adventure in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

If you’re looking to find a way to get the kids to put down their smartphones and pull out their headphones – Norway’s Lofoten Islands should do the trick. Embark on an unforgettable family adventure through one of the most stunning natural environments on earth as you channel your inner Viking, kayak through famous fjords and have a midnight BBQ in the light of day. This adventure-packed 10-night journey through the land of the midnight sun is guaranteed to put a smile on even the surliest of teenagers’ faces. Signifying all that we love about Scandinavian travel, the Lofoten Islands are the perfect combination of awe-inspiring adventure and contemporary luxury. You and your family are in good hands here at Black Tomato and our experts have handpicked the most undiscovered and desirable locations to bring this vibrant adventure playground right to your doorstep. There’s even a private island. Grab the kids, and let’s go.

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The last Norwegian wilderness

Your far-flung adventure begins on touchdown at Leknes Airport, just a short half hour drive from Nusfjord, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved fishing villages. Settle down in your home for the night, a unique fisherman’s cabin boasting magnificent views across the bay and beyond. You’ll immediately get a sense of the peace and the power of this astounding region, where you are the only ones around for miles and miles. Wake up amongst incredible scenery worth getting out of bed for – even your teenagers won’t be able to resist. In an adventure-packed vacation, it’s up and at’em with time to explore this traditional village before heading off to the last Norwegian wilderness of Reine after lunch. As you wind your way through the archipelago, you’ll notice how each village is connected by arching bridges or winding tunnels, adding a sense of magic to an already wondrous land.

Reine really is as far into the wilds of Lofoten as it gets, it’s right of the grid and the perfect backdrop for exploring the Norwegian wilderness. So, it’s byebye Blackberrys and tech-addicted kids. Grab a paddle and explore the world-famous deep blue fjords by sea kayak – the perfect introduction to this vast, yet beautiful, landscape that engulfs you. Then, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, lace up your boots and hike to the top of Reinebringen Mountain for some incredible views of Reinefjorden and the Lofoten Wall that’ll make it worth the sweat. Spend the next two nights at a private cabin perched right on the pier, shadowed by majestic granite peaks, giving way to stunning views over the fjords.

In the morning, the Lofotveggen coastline is just begging to be explored – and what better way to do in that on board your own private rib speedboat? Speed off to Refsvikhula Cave, etched with 4,000 year-old cave paintings, and ‘Bird Mountain,’ where, you guessed it, thousands of birds, from Puffins to the majestic Sea Eagles, nest. It’s like walking in a scene straight out of Ice Age.

Viking warrior for a day

If thumbs are starting to twitch over keypads – today is the perfect solution. It’s your best day by quite a stretch; a 78-foot stretch to be exact. You’ll take a road trip up north to the Viking settlement of Borg and see if you have what it takes to make it as a fearsome Viking. Your first challenge: rowing the 78-foot authentic longboat. No Olympic medals required here though, just a gung-ho attitude. Pass that test and it’s onto archery and axe throwing (kids, don’t try this one at home) before replenishing your strength as you tuck in to an authentic Viking meal. Skause stew anyone?

From Borg, hop across to Henningsvær, a village right on the edge of the ocean made up of a spattering of islets in the waters of Vjestfjord. Home to dramatic scenery and colorful buildings that line the harbor, take some time to stroll through the village and admire the traditional village architecture that houses quirky eateries, galleries and workstores. A burgeoning adventure scene awaits you here, so head to your private pier house and refuel, ready for tomorrow.

Fishing has been an integral part of Lofoten’s history for hundreds of years, with many relying on it for their livelihood – and today, you will too. Board a traditional Norwegian fishing yacht and test your skills as you fish for your dinner. Remember, patience is key. Reel it in and let your private chef do the rest.

Ain’t no fjord wide enough

Look out of the window of the pier house and you’ll be able to see the infamous landmark that is Vagakallen Mountain, towering 943 meters above the fjords below. Today, you’ll climb it. One of the most iconic peaks in the Lofoten Islands, you’ll be treated to the most incredible views; the higher you go – the better they get. Coming back down to earth, you’ll spend the next two nights curled up in a waterside apartment on Austvågøy island, in the harbor village of Hopsfjorden. Never-ending mountain views stretching as far as 150km out to sea and a narrow passageway into the bay make this the perfect bolthole in which to rest and recover from your experience-fuelled days.

Tomorrow, you’ll glide through the northern fjords on a private traditional sailing boat. As you sneak through the narrow entrance to the Arctic Trollfjord, a 100m stretch between the Lofoten and Vesteralen islands, you’ll be awe-struck by the steep mountains that flank the fjord and then crash into the sea either side of you. A spectacular way to see the Islands, pull out the binoculars and get the kids searching for orcas and dolphins before diving into the crystal clear waters and exploring pristine caves. Enjoy a gourmet lunch out on deck before channelling your inner Captain Jack Sparrow and giving sailing the ship a go.

Wind down on Manshausen

Spend your last few nights in Norway on the private and remote island of Manshausen, where a collection of glass cabins balance gracefully over the Lofoten waters. Despite its peaceful isolation, you won’t be short of things to do here. From hiking mountain ranges over the islands of Maløya and Grøtøya to rock-climbing the red-hued cliffs of nearby Nordskot – there’s something for everyone. So if the kids (or the parents) aren’t feeling too energetic, it’s no problem. Scale tough overhangs if you like, or just amble along coastal paths. It’s completely up to you. However, you chose to spend the day, finish it in style with a soak in your private hot tub, filled with fresh warm sea water. Sure, it’s great to see the stunning archipelago scenery from a mountain top, but it’s not too bad from a hot tub either.

On your final day, take the little monsters to the troll cave of Resshola – just be sure not to leave them there. Switch on your headlamps as you head deep subway and venture up to 140 meters under the sea, right into the heart of the cave. The ultimate end to your adventure, a unique snorkelling adventure awaits you after lunch. Dive into the crystal clear waters and discover a whole new breed of marine paradise. In the evening, enjoy one last gourmet meal in the wilderness before falling asleep gazing at the stars twinkling over the fjords.

Tomorrow, a private speedboat will whisk you away to Bodø airport in time for your flight home. The mountains and the fjords may shrink out of the plane window, but one thing’s for sure, this is a trip no-one will be forgetting anytime soon. Who knows, the kids may even leave their phones at home next time.

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